No talks between Trump, Xi before trade deadline

US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and US treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are leaving today for the next round of talks in China.

11 February 2019 | Economics

At some point the two presidents will meet … But that is off in the distance still at the moment. – Larry Kudlow, Economic Advisor: White House

Jeff Mason and Steve Holland - US president Donald Trump said on Thursday he did not plan to meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline set by the two countries to achieve a trade deal.

Asked during an event in the Oval Office whether there would be a meeting before the deadline, Trump said: "No."

When asked whether there would be a meeting in the next month or so, Trump said: "Not yet. Maybe. Probably too soon. Probably too soon."

The remarks confirmed comments from administration officials who said the two men were unlikely to meet before the deadline, dampening hopes of a quick trade pact and sparking a drop in US stock markets.

Late last year during a dinner between Trump and Xi in Argentina, the two men agreed to take a 90-day hiatus in their trade war to give their teams time to negotiate an agreement.

If the talks do not succeed, Trump has threatened to increase US tariffs on Chinese imports. Another round of talks is scheduled for this week in Beijing.

Trump, who is proud of having a warm relationship with Xi, said recently he would meet with him again to hammer out a final deal, after Chinese vice premier Liu He presented Xi's invitation at the White House.

A person briefed on the talks said that Trump's advisors were concerned that accepting a meeting invitation at this stage would raise unfounded expectations for a quick deal and erode US leverage in the talks, where the two sides remain far apart on core structural intellectual property issues.

"There was concern about the downside for markets in particular if they don't reach a deal," the source said.

Asia

The president is scheduled to travel to Asia at the end of this month for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam, and some had speculated that he could meet with Xi on the same trip. Trump had indicated that was one option, or Xi could come to the United States.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters that the leaders of the two economic superpowers could still meet at a later date.

"At some point the two presidents will meet, that is what Mr. Trump has been saying. But that is off in the distance still at the moment," he said.

The news prompted a sharp selloff in US stocks, dashing the optimism that had been building that the countries were progressing toward a deal before tariffs on Chinese imports rise to 25% after the March 1 deadline.

"I could see where that would impact the markets because obviously we had a lift in the month of January from optimism surrounding these trade talks," said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.

Next round

US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and US treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are leaving today for the next round of talks in China, one administration official said. "They're hoping for more success," he said.

The United States is pressing China to make major reforms, including on structural issues related to how it treats US companies doing business there. Washington accuses China of stealing US intellectual property and forcing American businesses to share their technology with Chinese companies. China denies the accusations.

Trump said in his State of the Union address on Tuesday that any new trade deal with Beijing "must include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices".

Such reforms have been a sticking point in talks so far.

Headway

Lighthizer told reporters recently that the two leaders may not meet if the negotiations do not progress sufficiently.

"If we do make headway, and the president thinks we're close enough that he can close the deal on major issues, then I think he'll want to have a meeting and do that," he told reporters. "I have complete confidence in the president, both to close a deal if we get to that point, but also to make that judgment."

Trump has vowed to increase US tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25% from 10% currently if the two sides cannot reach a deal by 12:01 a.m. (0501 GMT) on March 2.

CNBC reported that the tariffs were likely to remain at the 10% rate. Three sources familiar with the matter indicated that report was wrong. The president has said repeatedly that the tariffs would go up if no deal has been reached, and that position has not changed, one source said.

Lighthizer said recently that tariffs had not been a subject of the talks. – Nampa/Reuters

Similar News

 

Rosier January for construction

5 hours ago | Economics

Building plans approved by the Windhoek municipality last month showed a slight uptick compared to a year ago.Analysing the latest figures, IJG Securities said a...

Africa Briefs

17 hours ago | Economics

SA seeks to reopen costly renewables dealsSouth Africa wants to talk to independent power producers (IPPs) about lowering the price Eskom pays for electricity from...

Nigeria counts cost of postponed presidential poll

17 hours ago | Economics

Lagos - Nigerians who were surprised when the country's presidential election was postponed Saturday might suffer a second shock when they learn the cost, some...

Namibians owe lenders almost N$6bn

1 day - 18 February 2019 | Economics

Namibian consumers owed micro-lending institutions close to N$6 billion at the end of the second quarter of 2018, the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa)...

Global unemployment down, but too many working poor

4 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Economics

Geneva - The global unemployment rate inched down last year, the UN said Wednesday, warning though that jobs often failed to guarantee decent living, with...

Nations must boost adult training in face of automation

4 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Economics

Paris - Developed countries need to "urgently" boost adult training and education programmes to deal with future mass job upheaval brought on by automation, the...

Cheaper fuel brings inflation relief

5 days ago - 14 February 2019 | Economics

Overall annual inflation in January was 4.7%, down from 5.1% the previous month. The decrease was due to a huge drop in overall transport inflation...

‘SOEs maintain clean audit reports’

5 days ago - 14 February 2019 | Economics

Auditor-general Junias Kandjeke has praised state-owned enterprises (SOEs) for continuously submitting clean financial reports for the past five years. Speaking during a meeting with SOE...

Global oil supply to swamp demand despite output cuts

5 days ago - 14 February 2019 | Economics

Amanda Cooper - The global oil market will struggle this year to absorb fast growing crude supply from outside OPEC, even with the group's production...

Sluggish economy haunts Nigerian president at ballot box

5 days ago - 14 February 2019 | Economics

Alexis Akwagyiram - Timi Soleye returned home to Nigeria from the United States to set up a gas logistics business six years ago, encouraged by...

Latest News

Ondangwa creates 'home' for illegal...

17 hours ago | Government

ONDANGWA – The Ondangwa Town Council plans to relocate over 100 illegal settlers from Uutala to the Onantsi area, where it recently serviced 120 plots.Uutala...

Gold at two-week high on...

17 hours ago | Business

Gold prices rose to their strongest level in more than two weeks yesterday as the US dollar weakened on hopes the United States and China...

Noordoewer seeking status as a...

17 hours ago | Government

NOORDOEWER – The councillor of the Karasburg West Constituency, Paulus Ephraim, has urged government to consider proclaiming the settlement of Noordoewer a town as the...

No retrenchments at ODC, NDC

17 hours ago | Government

The head of the newly established Namibia Industrialisation Development Agency (NIDA), Uparura Kuvare, says no staff members of the former Offshore Development Company (ODC) and...

Drought fear looms large

17 hours ago | Disasters

ELLANIE SMIT Namibia faces a 150 000-tonne grain shortfall by the end of April this year, as...

Two in court after record...

17 hours ago | Justice

ILENI NANDJATO Northern businessmen Paavo Hatutale (47) and co-accused Nicodemus Shekunyenge (21) appeared before the Ohangwena Magistrate’s Court yesterday in connection with...

No limits for Doeseb

17 hours ago | People

Michelline Nawatises Axali Doeseb has been playing ice hockey since 2003.Every day after school he would jump the Tagesheim aftercare centre’s fence to watch...

The weight of expectation

17 hours ago | Columns

A huge weight of expectation will undoubtedly rest on political leaders vying for office later this year. While there is a sense that the current...

The lack of sexual ideology...

17 hours ago | Columns

Justicia Shipena Not only does thinking about sex matter, it matters more to humanity than sex in itself. There are many instances of the...

Load More